Things to consider when writing your CV...
So first, what is the purpose of a CV?
In many cases, when not required to add a cover letter or application form, your CV is a company’s or hiring manager’s first impression of you. You might be the most gifted candidate in your field but if you don’t engage the reader; include relevant info or stand out then you’ll be limiting your opportunities and losing out to potentially less skilled candidates.
Where do people go wrong?
There are a few things that this stems back to; sometimes it’s down to people using generic templates or looking for what should be in a CV online. There’s also the people teaching how to write CVs. Most of us are taught how to write a CV while at school, college or university by people who have likely never had to hire anyone in their lives.
So on that point, here are some tips on writing a better CV.
1. Personal Statements
Now I’m all for writing personal statements to introduce you and your CV but they don’t need to be more than a line or two. Hiring managers aren’t really that interested in this area of your CV, they want to know what you have done and what you have achieved. Instead of writing you can ‘work well as part of a team or on your own’ or ‘I am (adjective), (adjective) and (adjective)’ Save it, display it in your work history section.
2. Work History
Don’t just write what you have done throughout your roles; put some achievements in there and try to add statistics if you can or if it’s relevant. As mentioned in the above section this is where displaying you’re able to work in a team or alone is more relevant, discuss your team and the role YOU played – it’s more impactful to discuss your personal attributes within this section giving relevant examples.
Within this section if you have qualifications relevant to the job role for example Prince2 for Project management or ISTQB for Testing, put them before that F you got in Art in 2001. Always include the grades and dates. With GCSEs - as important as they are - a simple ’10 GCSE’s A*-C, (including English Language (B), Maths (B))’ is enough information.
Layout is hugely important; it needs to be clean and professional. Choose a font that’s easy to read and remains professional, usually I’d suggest any of the following; Ariel, Calibri, Georgia or Trebuchet MS. Try to use size 11/12 font and if your CV exceeds 2 pages... so what! As long as it’s well spaced out and easy to read with relevant and interesting information, we don’t care!
Some people use layout to stand out from other candidates it’s a good opportunity to be creative and different.
NEVER USE COMIC SANS.
5. Stand out
This is where it’s up to you; be different, be creative but always be you.